THE plan of Vice Mayor Joy Augustus Young to buy small junk aircrafts for rescue operations and aerial inspections during calamities is illogical, impractical and crazy.

It is impractical because it won't serve its purpose. The planes can be used for simple flying activities but not for rescue operations. To land, aircraft need an airport or an airstrip. Do our mountain barangays have airstrips?

Worse, the model of the three units of four-seat aircrafts owned by the Department of Education (DepEd) is already obsolete. Consider that the planes are already 40 years old. Sus, panahon pa man na ni Mampor.

Young wants to purchase all three units so the city can strip the two other units of their body parts and use these to fix the remaining unit. What a crazy idea.

Maybe Young, whose family is into the furniture business, thinks that an aircraft is like a piece of furniture or an air conditioning unit or a refrigerator that he can just cannibalize so he can use the parts to fix a whole unit.

The vice mayor claims that the planes can take off and land even on shorter landing strips. I don't think so. I challenge Young to find a place in the mountain barangays that the city can use as landing area for these kinds of aircraft.

Young said a portion of the South Road Properties (SRP) can be used as a landing area.

But City Hall has to develop the place because the SRP is not designed as a runway.

If Young's only intention is to have an aircraft for rescue operations and aerial inspections during calamities, why won't the city just enter into an arrangement with the Philippine Air Force or Central Command so it can get assistance when the need arises? Rep. Tomas Osmeña was able to borrow a private plane when he attended the Regional Development Council meeting in Bohol last month.

Maintaining an aircraft is very costly. Will City Hall also hire a pilot? For this, they can tap former city councilor and now Citom Chairman Jack Jakosalem, who has several flying hours in his resume.

Flying is one of Jack's hobbies. He even met an accident years ago wherein he was forced to land in an airstrip in Bantayan island. Wala pa na motagam si Jack.

Osmeña is supporting Young's idea. But Mayor Mike Rama's stand is different. His worry is that he might be blamed if something happens to that aircraft. He did not even say if he will ride on the plane.

Buying a helicopter is a better option. Choppers are usually used in rescue operations because they can land as long as there are vacant areas available. They are also used in police operations. In the United States, helicopters participate in hot pursuit operations.

Young said Cebuanos have nothing to worry about because the purchase won't involve cash. The three aircrafts can be acquired by the city in exchange for the construction of school buildings. Meaning, the city will construct school buildings using the Special Education Fund to help the DepEd in the city.

But just the same, Mr. Vice Mayor, it involves taxpayers' money. I hope that the next time around, you will think it over before floating a crazy idea.

(bobby@sunstar.com.ph)